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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: Nickel tetracarbonyl; Tetracarbonyl nickel

OSHA IMIS Code Number: 1841

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 13463-39-3

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: QR6300000

Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Guide: 1259 131

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Nickel carbonyl: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):

General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Z-1 Table -- 0.001 ppm, 0.007 mg/m3 TWA (PEL listed under Nickel carbonyl (as Ni))

Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A -- 0.001 ppm, 0.007 mg/m3 TWA (PEL listed under Nickel carbonyl (as Ni))

Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards -- 0.001 ppm, 0.007 mg/m3 TWA (PEL listed under Nickel carbonyl (as Ni))

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 0.05 ppm, 0.12 mg/m3 TWA (TLV listed under Nickel carbonyl, as Ni)

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 0.001 ppm, 0.007 mg/m3 TWA; Appendix A - NIOSH Potential Occupational Carcinogens

Health Factors

Carcinogenic Classification:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Group B2, probable human carcinogen

National Toxicology Program (NTP): Group 1, known to be a human carcinogen [184 KB PDF, 4 pages]

NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 2 ppm

Potential Symptoms: Headache, dizziness; nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain; substernal pain; eye, respiratory irritation; cough, shortness of breath (hyperpnea); cyanosis; pulmonary edema (may be delayed); weakness; leukocytosis; pneumonitis, pulmonary fibrosis; cerebral edema, delirium, convulsions; contact dermatitis; skin and lung sensitization; [potential occupational carcinogen]; in animals: reproductive, teratogenic effects.

Health Effects: Acute lung edema (HE11); Acute CNS effects (HE4); Suspect teratogen (HE5); Explosive, Flammable (HE18)

Affected Organs: paranasal sinus, CNS, reproductive system


  1. OSHA Select Carcinogen.
  2. May explode on heating at 60°C or ignite spontaneously on contact with air.

Date Last Revised: 06/24/2004

Literature Basis:

  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Nickel carbonyl.
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Nickel carbonyl.
  • EPA Air Toxics Website: Nickel Compounds. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Technology Transfer Network.
  • Berge, S.R. and Skyberg, K.: Radiographic evidence of pulmonary fibrosis and possible etiologic factors at a nickel refinery in Norway. J. Environ. Monit. 5(4): 681-688, 2003.
  • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Nickel Carbonyl. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 2. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 1671-1673.
  • Scott, L.K., Grier, L.R., Arnold, T.C. and Conrad, S.A.: Respiratory failure from inhalational nickel carbonyl exposure treated with continuous high-volume hemofiltration and disulfiram. Inhal. Toxicol. 14(11): 1103-1109, 2002.
Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):

  • sampling media: Glass Fiber Filter (37 mm) in series with a Midget Fritted Glass Bubbler (MFGB) containing 15 mL 0.1 N HCl.
    maximum volume: 480 Liters
    minimum volume: 240 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 1.0 L/min
    current analytical method: Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy; AAS/GF
    method reference: OSHA SLTC In-House File
    method classification: Partially Validated
    note: Submit as a separate sample. When analysis of a compound is requested, an elemental analysis is performed and reported as the compound.
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